FERPA: Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (Buckley Amendment)
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (20 U.S.C. § 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99) is a Federal law that affords students certain rights with respect to their education records.
These rights are:
- The right to inspect and review their education records.
- The right to seek to amend their education records.
- The right to have some control over the disclosure of information from their education records.
- The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by Marion Technical College to comply with the requirements of FERPA.
Who is a student?
A student is any individual who is or has attended at Marion Technical College.
A student who has applied to the college is not considered a student under this rule and therefore has no rights for inspection of their records under FERPA.
What are education records?
Education records are all records that contain information directly related to a student and are maintained by an educational agency or by a party acting for the agency or institution.
They are not:
- Sole possession records maintained by a single person as a memory jogger and are not shared with any other individual.
- Records created and maintained by a law enforcement unit for a law enforcement purpose.
- Employment records (unless contingent upon attendance.)
- Medical records made and maintained in connection with treatment and disclosed only to individuals providing treatment.
- Records that only contain information about an individual after he or she is no longer a student at the institution (i.e., alumni records).
They are records maintained in any way, including, but not limited to:
- Computer media
- Video or audio tape
- Microfilm and microfiche
- Document imaging
What information is contained in education records?
Personally identifiable information includes, but is not limited to:
- Student’s name.
- Name of the parent or other family members.
- Address of the student or student’s family.
- A personal identifier such as a social security number or student number.
- A list of personal characteristics or other information that would make student’s identity easily traceable.
Directory information is information not generally considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if disclosed. Directory information cannot include the student identification numbers or social security numbers.
Marion Technical College has identified the following listing of information as directory information:
- Address including county
- E-mail address
- Telephone number
- Field of study
- Dates of attendance and designation of full-time or part-time
- Degrees and awards received (including Dean’s List)
What can I do if I disagree with my records?
Students may ask to amend a record they believe is inaccurate or misleading. The steps for challenging records are:
- Submit a written request to amend the record to the appropriate administrator responsible for the records stating the specific information in question and the reasons for the challenge.
- The administrator will review the request and notify the student of the decision.
- If the record is not amended, the administrator will advise the student of his or her right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment, along with information regarding the hearing procedures at MTC.
This procedure should not be used when disputing grades. Refer to the procedures for appealing a grade.
Who has access to student records?
Students have access to view their own records. To do so they must:
- Submit a written request to the OSR that identifies the record they wish to inspect.
- OSR will arrange for access and notify students the time and place where the records may be inspected. If the office does not maintain the records, the students will be notified of the correct office to which the request should be addressed.
- MTC will comply with the request within 45 days.
- Copies of records are not provided unless failure to do so would effectively deny access of the records, such as a former student who does not live within a commuting distance. A fee is charged for copies of education records.
- MTC will not destroy records if request for access is pending; however, MTC follows a retention schedule for destruction of records no longer deemed necessary.
Students may not inspect records of other students, nor may they inspect records for which they have previously waived their right to review, nor may they inspect financial records of their parents.
MTC does not re-release records that were not originated from MTC, such as high school and college records, GED or ACT scores, etc. to third parties. Students should request the information from the original source.
Students may allow access to their records by signing and dating written consent forms. The consent must state:
- What records may be disclosed.
- The purpose for the disclosure.
- Identification of the party or class of parties to whom disclosure may be made.
FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent in some instances. These include but are not limited to:
- School officials with legitimate education interests. A school official is a person employed by MTC in an administrative, supervisory, academic, or support staff position; a person or company with whom the college has contracted (such as an attorney, auditor, clearinghouse, or collection agent); a person serving on the Board of Trustees; or a student who is employed in the colleges’ offices. A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibility.
- Compliance with a judicial order or subpoena that specifies not to notify.
- For health or safety emergencies.
- Directory information (as previously defined)
- Students have the right to refuse Marion Technical College from disclosing their directory information. This may mean, however, that if students receive recognition for honors or achievements, the college will be unable to publish the information in newspapers or other publications. Students are advised to consider the consequences of their decision to withhold "directory information. "
- Each term students have an opportunity to change their directory information status. The deadline for accepting the change is the Friday before the start of classes each term.
What students may do if they believe the college is not complying with the Privacy Act:
- Students should contact the OSR when they believe that FERPA is not being followed.
- OSR will review the allegation and notify the student of its findings.
Students may also file complaints with the U.S. Department of Education. The name and address of the office that administers FERPA is:
Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20202-4605